see the haunting and shocking images that won this year’s world press photo awards
The annual event celebrated the best photojournalism of 2015, with images of the refugee crisis, the Syrian Civil War, and the Black Lives Matter movement dominating each category.
Warren Richardson, Australia, 2015, Hope for a New Life
In the middle of the night on August 28, 2015 -- a few days before the dead body of Alan Kurdi was captured washed up on the shore of a Turkish beach and turned the world's attention to the human tragedy of the refugee crisis -- Australian photographer Warren Richardson was camped out at Serbian-Hungarian border. He'd spent five days on the border with the refugees making their way across the Balkans. The image he captured that night -- a grainy, black and white image shot without flash (the burst of light would've given away the position of the refugees crossing the border to the police) -- has just been announced as winner of the 59th annual World Press Photo Contest.
The image's power and drama comes from its simplicity; all it depicts is a baby being handed between two men under a barbed wire fence. Yet, like all great photojournalism, the image manages to turn personal drama into a bigger story -- one that's been convulsing Europe and Middle East for the last year. Unsurprisingly, images from the refugee crisis dominated many of the other categories at this year's awards.
Sergey Ponomarev's work for the New York Times won first prize in General News Stories for his reporting on the crisis. He captured images of refugees arriving on boats in Lesbos, and followed their travels across Southern Europe. Mauricio Lima, also working for the New York Times, won General News Singles award for an image of injured 16-year-old member of the Islamic State being treated in a Kurdish hospital. Sameer Al-Doumy also won an ward for his reporting on civilian casualties in airstrikes in Syria.
Elsewhere, images of Black Lives Matter protests in Chicago, citizen journalists in Brazil, avalanches at Everest, and demonstrations against terrorism all picked up awards. See a selection of the best images below.